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Value – what are your expectations of a litigation insurance provider?

overhead meeting

By David Chase, Deputy Underwriting Manager

(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 59 seconds)

Law firms wish to have a profitable business but are under pressure to reduce costs, whilst SMEs would like lower cost access to legal advice to help resolve a commercial dispute.  Clients like value for money, ideally you would like more fee income… and what has litigation insurance got to do with this? Quite a lot as it happens.

Your clients, you, your compliance team and your firm will all benefit if you dig a little deeper in your quest for the right result.  We appreciate that many litigators use litigation insurance as a matter of course, others who wish to upgrade their knowledge and those who might need a little more persuading. We all perceive value in a litigation insurance product – and value itself is not about price.

What determines value for litigation insurance?

Value is defined as the “regard that something is held to deserve including the importance, worth and usefulness of it”.

In this context, what is the value that you may cherish in a litigation insurance product?  Our view is that this will include service standards, claims handling and underwriting performance.

If your priority is minimising the cost of the value, then you’re quite likely pay in some other way, somewhere along the line. As we all know for most things in life you get what you pay for. Or that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Lower premiums can seem attractive, but when it really matters – for example when a claim needs to be made – that is when your litigation insurance provider needs to deliver on its promises.

Some providers don’t always measure up in this regard – ‘providers turn down claims’, ‘providers don’t pay claims’ are comments we’ve heard sometimes about litigation insurance at conferences and seminars. This is why it pays to do some more digging/diligence (especially with the SRA’s new code of conduct now focused on personal professional responsibility) so that you can rely on the provider you’ve chosen.

Can litigation insurance assist in litigation?

Yes; it enables a commercial lawyer to be able to pursue a claim ‘all the way to trial’ if necessary, and if a client buys a policy sooner rather than later, they will have support for their claim at an earlier stage and they will frequently have the opportunity to start off on a lower premium.  Also ask if your litigation insurance policy can be used to cover the costs of an ADR settlement – another way support could be given at a less advanced stage in the litigation and which may result in an earlier settlement.

What might be the client’s perspective of value?

Clients appreciate the technical skills which a commercial lawyer can deploy to gain a valuable outcome for them.  They would also like to have peace of mind (to be able to sleep at night) and to lessen or nullify their financial risk.  To know that if the worst happens, they lose and they make a claim under the policy, the provider will deal with their claim quickly with no fuss.  That they will be protected from having to pay the costs of the opponent, and their own disbursements are also covered.  If clients are presented with options of funding to pursue a claim with an indication of a settlement amount, this will be attractive to them.

The provider’s perspective – how do we view our value?

For Temple yes, it works, our reputation has been hard-won over more than 20 years and we pride ourselves on our service standards, claims handling and underwriting performance.  Just recently we supported a successful case and the solicitor commented “You backed it when others clearly didn’t want to – how many winnable cases like this are lost due to a lack of bottle?”

Don’t just take our word for it

  • “Temple are responsive, pragmatic, and willing to think ‘outside the box’. They are not phased when unexpected issues arise, offering their own ideas for their resolution and, where necessary, providing financial support to do so”.
  • “It has been great working with your team over the last year, especially on some tricky matters. Our clients really appreciate the back up and it is brilliant that you are all so easy to work with.”
  • “Their response times, practical approach and excellent service levels have differentiated them from other insurers with whom we have dealt in the past.”

Read more testimonials here.

You can always talk directly to our underwriters.

With Temple it’s all under one roof; litigation insurance, together with disbursement funding at the lowest interest rate in the market.  Our premiums are deferred until conclusion and contingent upon success.  No upfront payments required, cover if you lose, and you only pay if you win.  Our service, claims handling and underwriting performance is second to none. To find out more please email or call me on 01483 514424.